Requirements and comments


need for an associated navigation tool

We will demonstrate at Trieste an Aladin prototype able to move and zoom in the same kind of way that Google sky. So the next Aladin release should integrate it. An other point is that Aladin is already able to load an all sky image (for instance in AITOFF projection). A set of predefined all-sky maps can be easily integrated and accessible from the Aladin interface (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

simplify GUI, reduce options of image sources and catalogs

Too complicated : too many images, too many catalogs... we totally agree. We can easily keep only the servers (images, catalogs) concerned by the project context. In fact the panel for selecting resources is built dynamically (and also the associated menus). We can decide which servers have to be displayed :
- A few image surveys in different wavelengths
- Simbad (with the result adapted to the context - see point 5 below)
- A few catalogs (see point 5 below)
- SkyBOT : access to asteroid ephemerides (can be very interesting for outreach purposes)
- A few FoVs (Hubble instrument Field of View,...)
- Some mission logs (HST ? XMM ? ...) ?
- ...
We can even decide that the server selector is not required at all. (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

selection of objects by class

Two answers (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008) :

  1. As we will pre-define which catalogs we will offer to the users, we can decide to present a nebulea catalog (Messier), a galaxy catalog...
  2. Aladin has very sophisticated method for filtering catalogs (Menu Catalog -> Create a filter). You can control what you want to display and how display these objects (circles proportional to..., arrows for proper motions...). For instance, if you load Simbad around M99, there is a default Simbad filter illustrating the filter possibilities. For the outreach version, presently we have a few "predefined filters" in the general menu. We can decide to keep only some predefined filters according to this outreach context.
simplify selection of "new" image of an object selected within an initial image. Recenter new DSS image on selected object -- need scaling to thumbnail size and/or transparency.

This feature is available in the current Aladin release 5 (Menu Image -> ransparency level).(Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

Aladin and lite version likely need different buttons

Again, we totally agree. An outreach version should hide a lot of them. The same thing for the general menu. (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

allow fontsize selection
associate pretty pictures to special objects from known repositories

When the user is clicking on an object, Aladin displays the measurements attached to this object. This information depends on the catalogue contents.But we can choose to build some dedicated catalogs for displaying the information that we want. Also, a very important thing is the possibility to add web links in these data to open the user to other web servers providing other information related to the selected object. For instance load the catalog "HST log" around M1 (Menu : File -> Load catalog -> Missions in VizieR -> log HST) and select some of these objects for displaying the associated measurements. And so click on a Web link or even on a button allowing you to directly load the archive image. Concretly we are free to build a catalog with information, links and buttons for outreach purposes.(Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

there may be a need for higher level commands (i.e. predetermined and named combinations of commands and options/input parameters)

The script mode can allow teachers to prepare dedicated environments. It is really an interesting point in this context. Notice that all script commands can be "demonstrated" (the mouse is moved slowly to show how to do the same thing via the interface). To see it in practice, open the Aladin console (menu Tool -> Aladin console) and switch aladin in "demo mode" via the command "demo on", and pass any other script command, for instance "get aladin(dss1) m1". We use demo mode for implementing the menu "Help -> show me how to -> ...". We can imagine to adapt these tutorials for outreaching. (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)

consider development site for exchanging/contributing scripts ecc ecc. + forum
develop primer with several examples and interesting scripts - Translations required!
  • A document adapted to the outreach Aladin version would be he best. But we have certainly to support several languages. And this ask should be done at the end of the project when the tool will be ready.(Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)
  • Translation: Aladin is already supporting several languages. Concretly it is an independent string files. Only current strings should be translated. We have to find volunteers. (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)


should show sideral time, fundamental for astronomical observations.
need "print" option with an inversion of the intensity scale light/dark to dark/light
increase export options
choice of text/graphics color from GUI and script.
command dictionary complete but too complex
user should be able to add text on the map.

  • I paste here Fabien's message (Fabien Chereau, 07 May 2008):
    First of all, because Stellarium is open source and developed by an open community, it is possible to anyone to follow what is going on in the project. Especially on our wiki and on the developer mailing list the whole program code can also be downloaded from the public SVN and compiled quite easily by following the instructions from the wiki.

    Almost all of the points mentioned during the teleconf are already on our road map for the next releases and are technically feasible without too much troubles.
    The only difficult one that I can see now is an export function into vectorial graphics (like eps or pdf) for printing which is not directly compatible with an openGL real time rendering. If this feature is important, it can be added in the task list with a high priority.

    I also need more precision for the requirements about the simplified scripting feature, as well as for the management of external sources and images catalogs. I would also need to know which features of VirGO will need to be moved into Stellarium if any (in a simplified form).

    In term of schedule, there will not be any official release of Stellarium before at least 3 months because the base code is currently under heavy and large modifications (coding the new GUI, new script engine). However I am pretty confident that most of the requirements can be fulfilled within the 1 year schedule of the first release of WP5, and all of them (and even more!) by the end of the exercice (month 27). The good point is that it is the perfect time to express requirements for the future releases.


  • For CDS, I will prepare for Trieste an Aladin release trying to llustrate how we can simplify the interface. I plan to keep the same code for the official Aladin release and the outreach release, just a command line parameter and/or the user preferences will determine in which appearence Aladin will start. (Pierre Fernique, 5 May 2008)
  • As soon as we (OATs-INAF) will receive templates of Aladin buttons+menus we will translate them into Italian. We will also translate more documentation as we proceed, i.e. when we need it for tests with a sample of our outreach targets. MassimoRamella - 06 May 2008
  • We compiled and installed the latest Stellarium. We will try to be more specific and precise with those requirements that may not yet be coming along the line. MassimoRamella - 07 May 2008
  • We started the translation of Aladin into Italian, we will finish in few days. GiuliaIafrate - 27 May 2008
  • I post here my presentation at the Trieste meeting with the comments on current version of Aladin and Stellarium+VirGO. New versions are in development, I will test them and post updated requirements. GiuliaIafrate - 27 May 2008

-- MassimoRamella - 06 May 2008

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Pdfpdf Aladin_VirGO.pdf r1 manage 3248.1 K 27 May 2008 - 10:27 UnknownUser Comments on Aladin and VirGO presented at the Trieste meeting
Pptppt WP5_IVOA_TS_2008.ppt r1 manage 88.0 K 29 May 2008 - 14:29 UnknownUser My introduction to the Trieste meeting

This topic: EuroVOAIDA > WebHome > WP5Outreach > WP5WorkProgramme > WP5WorkProgrammeRequirements
Topic revision: r7 - 29 May 2008 - MassimoRamella
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